Steve Goodier © 2002

One man who loved the color yellow had yellow carpet, yellow furniture, yellow drapes, yellow walls and even yellow appliances in his yellow kitchen. He slept in a yellow bed with yellow covers and wore yellow pajamas. He got sick. You guessed it ... yellow jaundice

He called a doctor who came to his apartment building. The manager told him he'd have no trouble finding the right one. "You just go down the hall and come to a yellow door," he said. "That's the one."

In a few moments the doctor was back. The apartment manager asked, "Were you able to help him?"

The doctor replied, "Help him! I couldn't even FIND him!"

It's not a good idea to blend too closely with your surroundings.

I think of that story when I hear stories like this newspaper account:

A Miami mother came to police and spilled out cash and coins totaling $19.53. A young boy turned in 85 cents. After two days, they were the only people to return money scooped up from an armored truck that toppled on an overpass and rained more than half a million dollars onto the street below. Police said that witnesses reported seeing rush-hour commuters loading money into their cars and driving off while two Brinks workers lay bleeding. Police had pleaded with residents to return the money, but got nothing but laughter until a mother and a boy came in.

In a world that seemed to think alike, two people had a different idea. They were not painted with the same brush as everyone else. "I have children and I needed to set a good example," said the mother of six, who could have used a little extra cash to supplement her low retail store wage. She chose not to blend in too closely.

Most people talk about values - what we believe to be right and wrong. But whether or not we realize it, we all LIVE our true values. It is our actions, more than our words, that will show what we truly believe.

An 11-year-old boy who turned in 85 cents because he felt "it was wrong for me to keep anything," stood out from the crowd. And a mother who wanted to teach her children to do the right thing set an example they will never forget. Like Ruth E. Renkel says, "Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritances." If her children inherit her values, anything else is just money.

Paint them fortunate.